Raise a toast to the art of food
Get ready to dig into a big dollop of gastronomic excitement, as six world famous chefs are coming together for the Creative Service Support Group (CSSG) Gastronomy Summit 2012, a three day event that kicks off in the city tomorrowindia Updated: Sep 14, 2012 00:28 IST
Get ready to dig into a big dollop of gastronomic excitement, as six world famous chefs are coming together for the Creative Service Support Group (CSSG) Gastronomy Summit 2012, a three day event that kicks off in the city tomorrow. On the first day, the chefs will take part in a panel discussion at The Leela Palace in Delhi to explore food’s impact on other creative industries, its role in social welfare and the changing view of gender in the food industry.
On the second day, the chefs will rustle up a nine courses spread at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, teamed with nine types of wines, along with nine pieces of music. Proceeds from the dinner will help place the underprivileged in the food sector. On the third day, the chefs will visit schools and talk about careers in the food industry. Anand Kapoor (inset), president, CSSG, a global charitable body that is organising the event, says that while Indian food may not have had any Eureka moments recently, India has a rich food heritage. “Let’s see if Indian gastronomy can incorporate influences from other cuisines while maintaining its strong identity,” he says.
Kapoor also says that the fact that India does not have a Michelin presence could be another avenue to explore. “Programmes such as Masterchef have generated strong excitement about food. Years ago, if a child said he/she wants to become a chef, parents would dismiss it. That’s changing and that’s really exciting,” he says.
‘The Nigella Lawson of Indian cuisine’, London born Anjum Anand, is a celebrated TV chef and cookery writer. She gave a chic spin to Indian food from the stereotypical heavy, oil loaded enigmas to light and delicious meal options. She is also known for her television series, Indian Food Made Easy, on BBC 2. She has also written several books on healthy food.
This British chef has worked with Gee’s Brasserie, Oxford, Pinewood Film Studios, Sally Clarke’s, Fat Duck and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. Gear made his restaurant Artichoke in Buckinghamshire an instant hit with his modern European cooking style. He has a number of food awards to his credit.
Chef Vineet Bhatia is known for giving a trendy makeover to Indian dishes with marvels such as chocolate samosas and pani puri served with a peg of Bloody Mary. He is the chef-patron and owner of the famous Indian restaurant, Rasoi, in London. In 2001, he received his first Michelin star, making him the first Indian Chef-Restaurateur to do so in 102 years.
Frances Atkins has been getting a Michelin star every consecutive year since 2003, making her one of only 6 females in the United Kingdom to be awarded this prestigious accolade. She helms Yorke Arms, one of UK’s leading restaurants. Her food is free spirited, yet backed by a classical technique.
Brazilian born, Marcello Tully, became head chef at just 23 at Home Rouxl, the first sous-vide processing plant in the UK. He was approached by Scottish chef Lady Claire Macdonald to work as head chef at Kinloch Lodge, Syke, UK. While there, Marcello and his team were awarded 3 AA rosettes for the restaurant in 2009, followed by a Michelin star in 2010.
Known for his unpretentious food, and a wicked sense of humour, this Britain born chef moved to Australia a few decades back, where he is busy overseeing three famous venues and kitchens in Melbourne. He also helps guests deal with drug and alcohol issues through a project that helps teach cooking skills to the homeless.
Indian food is ripe for evolution
Anand loves Indian food most at its home made best with clear flavours, not too fussy, not too heavy. “It is gastronomic, even at its simplest,” she says. Anand is delighted that Indian chefs are innovating. “Whether they have been spurned on by the gastro-strides being seen in other countries or by their own creativity, there’s so much innovation that I see. Indian food is ripe for evolution. It’s an exciting time,” she says.
Food is not only what you see on the plate
“Indian food is gaining extreme popularity in UK,” he says. “With the new breed of chefs looking to push boundaries, Indian cuisine is a serious contender in the culinary world,” he adds. According to him, one area Indian chefs could improve on is not only looking at the food on the plate but refining the overall dining experience.
Indian food is one of the most flavourful foods
The chef says India is beaming with talent. And with so many people eating out regularly, giving a fillip to the restaurant business, it is important to give young minds the right direction. He also believes in bending rules and thinking out of the box. “When I left the country, Indians didn’t want to experiment with food, whereas the scope for innovation was much more in Europe. That’s not the case anymore,” he says.
Indian gastronomy is vibrant and exotic
According to her, the biggest strength of Indian chefs is their historical culture and provenance and the availability of exotic ingredients. “India is a country with so much colour and style. And with the mothers’ culinary art still operating within the home, inspiration must be drawn from this,” she says.
Indian food is so intense and exciting
“Getting the balance right in Indian dishes is the test of a gifted chef,” he says. “Indian cuisine is about intense flavours and colours. The basic ingredients in Indian cuisine far outnumber the basic ingredients in European kitchens. The diversity of flavours achievable is immense,” he adds. He looks forward to exchange in methods of cooking and experiments in taste, texture and design through the summit.
Indian cuisine is firmly steeped in tradition
The chef says Indian cuisine is exciting, with roots steeped in tradition. “I would love to see Indian chefs experiment more. It’s also imperative to develop the profiles of Indian chefs. I can only name a handful of famous Indian chefs, but I am sure there are many more,” he says.
First Published: Sep 13, 2012 17:50 IST